Recipe for success: FS3 Amy Edwards

Throughout the year, we’re featuring food service specialists in the Coast Guard. Each profile will come with a recipe so let us know if you want to see a particular recipe in the comments below. Enjoy this “recipe for success” and bon appétit!

Petty Officer 3rd Class Amy Edwards, a food service specialist assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Rush. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Amy Edwards, a food service specialist assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Rush. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Most Coast Guard men and women who choose the food service specialist rating do so because they love to cook. For Petty Officer 3rd Class Amy Edwards, it was more than just a love of cooking that impacted the route she took.

As an aspiring artist, Edwards joined the Coast Guard to broaden her portfolio and gain funds needed to go to art school.

“I originally joined the Coast Guard as a means to leave home and kick start my life,” said Edwards. “I never knew I would be gaining so much more than just job experience.”

After completing basic training, Edwards was stationed at Coast Guard Station Destin, Fla. As she learned about the different ratings the Coast Guard offered, it was the creativity and rewarding work of the unit’s food service specialists that impressed her most.

FS3 Amy Edwards prepares her specialty: rainbow swirl white cake. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

FS3 Amy Edwards prepares her specialty: rainbow swirl white cake. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The following spring, she attended food service specialist “A” school, where she had a unique classmate – her sister. Sparking a bit of rivalry, Edwards did everything she could to out-perform her sister.

They volunteered for countless events during their training – cooking at conventions, cooking for the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton’s commissioning ceremony with over 2,000 guests, helping out at a Boys and Girls Club and even catering for Gary Sinise’s band, the “Lieutenant Dan Band”.

After completing her specialized training, Edwards was assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Rush, homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although she has only been a food service specialist for two years, she is now credited with being one of the most talented and reliable cooks aboard the cutter.

“Amy is referred to as someone that is truly a jack-of-all-trades,” said her supervisor, Senior Chief Petty Officer Lavonda Mitchell.

Edwards has worked every galley position on the cutter – duty cook, wardroom pantry cook, night baker, captain’s cook and “jack-of-the-dust.”

Edward’s specialty? Baking. She recently attended advanced pastry school, and combines what she learned with her own creative styles. Aboard Rush, it’s not uncommon to see crewmembers lining up for her chocolate chip cookies. She usually makes more than 300 and is lucky if they last through the meal.

Her favorite thing to bake, though, is cake. “Whenever I saw vanilla frosted cake on the menu, I took it as a challenge to make the most elaborate cake I could while still having vanilla frosting,” said Edwards.

Below, Edwards shares her recipe for her “Rainbow Swirl White Cake.” If you’re craving a creative dessert, look no further!

A slice of rainbow swirl white cake, as prepared by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amy Edwards. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A slice of rainbow swirl white cake, as prepared by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amy Edwards. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Rainbow Swirl White Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Food dye

Cream butter and shortening until fluffy, add sugar slowly while mixing.
Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating before adding another.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt together. Mix together milk and vanilla.
Add both dry and wet ingredients to butter mixture, alternately ending with dry.
Separate and dye batter to any amount of colors desired. Pour into greased baking pans, swirling the batters together with knife, fork, or tooth pick.
Bake for 20-30 min at 325degrees until toothpick test come out clean, rotating every 7min to assure even color.
Cool completely before decorating.

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